Immunomodulatory Effects of Allium sativum L. and its Constituents against Viral Infections and Metabolic Diseases

Curr Top Med Chem. 2022;22(2):109-131. doi: 10.2174/1568026621666211122163156.


Background: Allium sativum L., or garlic, is one of the most studied plants worldwide within the field of traditional medicine. Current interests lie in the potential use of garlic as a preventive measure and adjuvant treatment for viral infections, e.g., SARS-CoV-2. Even though it cannot be presented as a single treatment, its beneficial effects are beyond doubt. The World Health Organization has deemed it an essential part of any balanced diet with immunomodulatory properties.

Objective: The aim of the study was to review the literature on the effects of garlic compounds and preparations on immunomodulation and viral infection management, with emphasis on SARS-CoV- -2.

Methods: Exhaustive literature search has been carried out on electronic databases.

Conclusion: Garlic is a fundamental part of a well-balanced diet which helps maintain general good health. The reported information regarding garlic's ability to beneficially modulate inflammation and the immune system is encouraging. Nonetheless, more efforts must be made to understand the actual medicinal properties and mechanisms of action of the compounds found in this plant to inhibit or diminish viral infections, particularly SARS-CoV-2. Based on our findings, we propose a series of innovative strategies to achieve such a challenge in the near future.

Keywords: Antiviral agents; Chronic diseases; Coronavirus infection; Garlic; Immunomodulation agents; Metabolic diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment*
  • Garlic*
  • Humans
  • Immunomodulation
  • Metabolic Diseases*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Plant Extracts